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New York Health Care Law Blog

New York doctors, therapists, others charged with health care fraud

State and federal agencies combined in an investigation involving two medical company owners, three physicians, three licensed physical and occupational therapists and a chiropractor. The New York Office of the Medicaid Inspector General teamed up with an assortment of law enforcement offices in uncovering $125 million in alleged Medicaid and Medicare fraud, the office stated.

OMIG and the Medicaid Strike Force worked with the FBI and Department of Justice to file charges against 10 people for fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid billing.

New York doctor's medical license suspended pending hearing

If you drive north of New York City for a little more than an hour, you will arrive in White Plains. A doctor in the affluent suburb has had his offices there and in Mount Kisco shut down after his medical license was suspended.

News reports out of Westchester County indicate that a hearing will be held in a few days regarding the New York State Department of Health's accusations that improper hand hygiene at the doctor's clinics spread Hepatitis C to four of his patients.

Elements to consider in a disaster response plan

With hurricanes Harvey and Irma recently wreaking havoc in Texas and the southern United States, the necessity of a disaster response plan for any business has become clear. Pharmacies, home health agencies and other medically based businesses have a few additional elements to consider when it comes to disaster response.

For example, one consideration could be how to keep medications and other sensitive materials protected from possible looters, and in the case of refrigerated medications, the potential loss of power.

Causes of unintentional health care fraud

When it comes to health care fraud, ignorance of the law will not save you. You may think you are safe because you are an honest professional with a qualified billing department. However, errors can lead to investigations, and even if nothing turns up, it can hurt your practice's reputation and finances.

Be aware of these common causes of committing fraud accidentally to avoid legal trouble, high fees and other consequences.

Tips for a successful merger with another health care practice

Merging your health care practice with another one can lead to numerous benefits, the most notable being the monetary savings. Because both businesses are well established and successful, you may believe a merger will be simple and smooth and result in immediate advantages.

However, mergers can easily backfire due to missteps. This new business move must meet certain requirements to be effective. Utilize the following tips to help your merger be a successful one.

How to handle a letter from the Office of Professional Misconduct

For a doctor, receiving a letter about a complaint from the New York Office of Professional Misconduct (OPMC) can be a distressing situation. It indicates a patient was unhappy enough with the services provided that he or she filed a complaint. Furthermore, it indicates an investigation process is about to begin.

It is important that any letter from the OPMC is taken seriously. The result of an OPMC inquiry could mean revocation or restriction of a doctor's license to practice medicine. Doctors should understand the process and respond accordingly.

Study: Online doctors' ratings should be taken with grain of salt

It is virtually guaranteed that every doctor has at least once gone online to check out ratings assigned to them by members of the public. For many patients, these ratings provide valuable feedback about whether a physician is capable, friendly, extraordinary, etc.

A new study sheds some light on the ratings, including research that compared ratings from three popular sites for doctors who had put on probation by the state's Medical Board. Physicians with problems for things such as professionalism, drug or alcohol abuse, sexual misconduct, crime and personal illness scored somewhat lower than doctors who were not on probation, but their "ratings were not significantly different."

Sentencing near in kickback and Medicaid fraud scheme

Just a few minutes west of New York City, a former medical imaging center owner is about to be sentenced for his role in a Medicaid fraud scheme. News media reports indicate that his sentencing was delayed for a few days after he was recently hospitalized.

He has been accused of being the leader of a scheme that bilked the program of approximately $8 million. He pleaded guilty more than two years ago to financial facilitation and conspiracy to commit bribery and admitted that he and paid kickbacks to doctors for patient referrals for tests at the medical imaging center.

Pediatric surgeon facing criminal charges, license suspension

About an hour south of New York City, a pediatric surgeon is facing some of the most serious accusations a doctor can encounter. The 71-year-old New Jersey surgeon is accused of improperly touching a teenage patient, according to news reports.

The doctor has had to temporarily surrender his medical license. The State Board of Medical Examiners has suspended his medical license.

Physicians can pay a heavy price for billing errors

People who have received a medical bill and people who have sent out medical bills can both testify to the truth of a recent report that says most medical bills contain errors. In fact, the error rate might be as high as 80 percent, says a health care advocacy group. Reinforcing the claim is Kaiser Health's related research that shows that the cost to citizens and companies for medical-billing mistakes is a staggering $68 billion.

Taken together, the inescapable conclusion is that doctors, hospitals, clinics, group practices and others are paying a heavy price for errors. Even worse, say experts, is that patients might suffer negative health consequences as a result of billing errors.